Unlike many inventors who choose to tell the world who they are to get some attention, the creator of Bitcoin is only known as Satoshi Nakamoto and we know almost nothing about him. This is the name that the creator of Bitcoin used when he wrote the original Bitcoin whitepaper and developed Bitcoin.
Via his creation of Bitcoin, Nakamoto was responsible for the deployment of the very first decentralized digital currency. During the process of developing Bitcoin, Nakamoto also became the first person to use a peer-to-peer network to overcome the double-spending problem associated with digital currency.
When it comes down to it, there is no way to know who Satoshi Nakamoto is. We do not even know whether this person’s gender is true or whether it is truly a single person and not a group of people. As such, you will find discussions of Satoshi Nakamoto using a range of pronouns at times.
Although we do not actually know the nationality of Nakamoto, most people speculate that he is either Japanese or a native English speaker, or a combination of the two. Based on the name itself, the assumption that Nakamoto is Japanese seems logical, since the name is clearly Japanese. That being said, the whitepaper and other documentation have perfect English that appears to be from a native speaker.
One very interesting thing about Satoshi Nakamoto is that he was actively involved in various Bitcoin-related endeavors in the early years of the blockchain and cryptocurrency. In 2010, however, he went silent and essentially disappeared.
There are many theories about why Nakamoto chose to disappear. Some indicate he was tired of Bitcoin or that he did not want to deal with the issues related to the protocol or the increasingly challenging nature of it. Others feel that Nakamoto was just sick of the attention and wanted to operate even more under-the-radar than he did, still being involved but with a different pseudonym. Yet others feel Nakamoto was concerned that if he remained in the picture, Bitcoin would not advance. Some theories also state that he had increasing concerns about his true identity being discovered, which he did not want.
This changed in December 2018 when Nakamoto made a post and generated a great deal of buzz in the cryptocurrency community. This post appeared on the P2P Foundation’s page. There was doubt, however, as to whether or not the post was truly made by Nakamoto or someone else. In any case, the post simply had the word “nour,” which has sparked much debate. That is still the most recent we have heard from Nakamoto at the time of writing.
Assuming that Satoshi Nakamoto never sold any of his Bitcoin, he is likely incredibly rich at the moment. The consensus in the cryptocurrency world is that Nakamoto has at least a million Bitcoin in his possession. The figure of one million Bitcoin is based on the fact that Satoshi mined the Bitcoin Genesis block in January 2009 and stopped communications in 2010. Since the one million Bitcoins arrived on the blockchain ledger but were not spent in any way since then, it seems likely that Nakamoto still has them, at least as of the most recent investigation into this fact.
Unsurprisingly, there are numerous theories about the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Some of the people that the theories are about have denied them, yet others have not said anything. None of the theories so far have any concrete proof, so there is no way to know for sure who Satoshi Nakamoto is. Here are some of the theories:
One suggestion is that Satoshi Nakamoto is actually a group of four major companies. Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi, and Motorola.
Craig Wright claimed on the BBC in May 2016 that he was the Bitcoin inventor. Wright is an Australian entrepreneur, but when core Bitcoin developers investigated, Wright could not support his claim and eventually told his readers that he lacked the “courage” to continue the claim.
Others claimed that Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto was the true identity. This came about in March 2014 when a news source indicated this systems engineer and physicist was the true Satoshi Nakamoto. Dorian Nakamoto denied the claims, and it turns out that the only factor the news team considered was his name.
Some have also suggested that Nick Szabo is the true identity. Szabo is an American cryptographer and computer scientist who created Bit Gold, the predecessor of Bitcoin that had limitations.
Other Popular Suggestions
Yet another popular suggestion is that Nakamoto is truly Hal Finney, a cryptographer who was part of the original email list to receive the Bitcoin whitepaper. Finney claimed that he supported Nakamoto’s testing and was in communication with the Bitcoin creator. Finney was also the very first person who received a transaction in Bitcoin from Satoshi, doing so on Jan. 12, 2009. The theory of Finney as Nakamoto disappeared when he publicized an email conversation he had with Satoshi. Even so, some continue to suspect this was a tactic to get people off Finney’s tracks.
The media brand Fast Company had an employee claim to prove that Charles Bry, Vladimir Oksman, and Neal King were Nakamoto as a group in 2011. All three denied the allegations. Earlier in 2011, an article in The New Yorker claimed that Nakamoto was either Michael Clear or Dr. Vili Lehdonvirta, a grad student studying cryptography at the time and a Finnish economic sociologist, respectively.
Both strongly denied these claims.
Throughout the years, others suspected of being Satoshi Nakamoto have included Shinichi Mochizuki (a Japanese mathematician); Jed McCaleb, a government agency, or Gavin Andresen; Dustin D. Trammel; Ross William Ulbricht; and Elon Musk. Many of those, including Musk, have denied that this is the case.
Nakamoto Likes Being Anonymous
The most important thing we know about Satoshi Nakamoto is that he (or she or they) has a brilliant and innovative mind and enjoys being anonymous. Nakamoto clearly does not want attention; otherwise, he would have used his real name or announced his true identity, with proof, since the creation of Bitcoin. This likely, however, will not stop people from trying to discover who Nakamoto really is, or at least more about him.